Conditions remain very dry across Vancouver Island, despite recent rainfall. That could mean record-breaking low runoff on the Campbell River.
Precipitation has been “very low” in the Campbell River watershed since February, said BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson.
And the current water supply forecast for the February to September period shows an expected runoff volume of 64 per cent the normal.
“If this forecast happens it would be the lowest for February to September total runoff in about 60 years of record,” Watson said.
Low runoff on the Campbell River is poised to break records going back 60 years, according to BC Hydro. Data from the province indicates very dry conditions across #VancouverIsland despite recent rainfall. pic.twitter.com/MZ2yTkvwbc
— David Gordon Koch (@davidgordonkoch) July 10, 2019
He added that water levels in Upper Campbell and Buttle lakes “will be the second lowest in our record” for the summer period. The lowest level on record was in 2015, when snowpack was almost non-existent.
Weather variations create “bookends” or extremes, but global climate change “is pushing those bookends a little bit out on either side,” he said.
He added that BC Hydro is working with the University of Victoria and others to better understand how climate change will affect the watershed.
Conditions ‘very dry’ Island-wide
An online Drought Levels Map maintained by the B.C. government indicates that all of Vancouver Island is currently considered “very dry” as of July 4.
The province is updating those classifications this week. But it would take one of the rainiest months of July on record for overall drought conditions to change, said Ashlee Jollymore, a hydrologist with the provincial River Forecast Centre, which analyses the province’s snowpack, assesses seasonal water supply and flood risk, and predicts flows in B.C.’s rivers and streams.
“It’s kind of like a big bucket that needs to get filled, and it would have to really rain in order to fill it at this point,” she said.
|A screenshot from the B.C. Drought Levels Map, updated July 4, indicates very dry conditions across Vancouver Island.|
Current conditions on Vancouver Island are similar to those usually seen during later periods of the dry season, Jollymore said.
This follows a winter and spring marked by low precipitation. Conditions are approaching 2015 levels, one of the most extreme drought years on record.
“Even though we’ve had some precipitation over that last few weeks on the Island, we have a relatively large margin to actually continue to make up,” she said.
Rivers including the San Juan River, which empties into the ocean at Port Renfrew, are currently listed as “extremely dry” on a provincial government streamflow map.
That river is significant because the San Juan has no dams or other water management structures that would influence streamflow, Jollymore said.
Current levels on that river are among the lowest five per cent recorded since 1959, when measurements began.
Police seize loaded firearm, drugs during traffic stop in Victoria
Officers find cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl along with loaded handgun
President of cannabis company considers legal action against Sidney
Sidney already lost one legal action by another cannabis retailer in summer 2020
Woman returned to West Shore on warrant after crashing in Oak Bay
Smashed car windows, stolen outboard, missing diamond round out police briefs
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet
The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit
Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured
Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy
Animal has been dead since at least April 15
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory
Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake
The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19
Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders
VIHA says Ladysmith-area Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations
Many trees weakened, turning black or brown and dying, says local ecologist
East Sooke Treehouse takes flight as an Airbnb
Montage features submitted dance clips from across Greater Victoria
Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land
‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye
Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox
The 24-year-old was last seen April 15th in Esquimalt